Steve Mnuchin said the coronavirus impact on the airline industry is “worse than 9/11.” USA TODAY

Thousands of American Airlines pilots and flight attendants have accepted offers for voluntary leave and early retirement as commercial air travel has plummeted amid the .

Unions representing flight crews for American, which is based in Fort Worth, Texas, said the company offered short-term leave packages ranging from one month to a year, with all keeping their benefits, and most at least some of their pay.

American also offered pilots and flight attendants the option of retiring early with full benefits and partial pay.

More than 700 American pilots accepted the early retirement offer, according to

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